If you’re one of those people who thinks that the UEFA Europa League is boring, I think you should reconsider. The first leg of the 2022 Playoffs between Zenit and Real Betis is the best example. The Spanish side went to Russia and won 3-2.
Now, Zenit must pull off the betting online upset in Seville. Fortunately for them, a 1-0 victory would be enough to force overtime. That’s right, no more away goal rule, so you can expect another back-and-forth battle.
As well explore a variety of other soccer odds here to win!
Real Betis vs Zenit 2022 UEFA Europa League Playoffs
Real Betis Amazing Season
Real Betis winning in Russia shouldn’t be a surprise. Los Verdiblancos are having a great season, enough to remain in both La Liga and the UEL title race. Winning La Liga seems very complicated, but mathematically it’s still possible.
Los Verdiblancos only lost one of their last 10 games in all competitions. That also includes advancing to the Copa del Rey Semifinals. That’s right, Real Betis could win a historic treble. Not even Real Madrid can say that this far into the season.
Most recently, Los Verdiblancos got an extra dose of motivation by defeating Mallorca 2-1. William Jose scored the winning goal with seven minutes left on the clock. That allowed him to regain some confidence after overcoming an injury. Talk about good timing, right?
Jose, Juanmi Jimenez and Borja Iglesias combined for 38 goals in all competitions. They’re the main reason for Real Betis to control the soccer lines (Ev). There’s also the fact that Real Betis won seven of its last 10 home games. Los Verdiblancos scored at least two goals in each victory.
As if that wasn’t enough, reinforcements are on the way because Nabil Fekir is now available. He missed the first leg due to suspension.
Real Betis predicted lineup: Rui Silva; Youssouf Sabaly, Marc Bartra, Victor Ruiz, Alexandre Moreno; Guido Rodriguez, William, Aitor Rubial, Sergio Canales, Juanmi Jimenez; Borja Iglesias.
Go Big or Go Home for Zenit
Zenit will probably win the Russian Premier League, but that’s not enough anymore. If Serguei Semak’s team wants to be taken seriously, they must take the next step by winning an international title.
The good news is that they’ve a roster talented enough to do so. Malcom, Wilmar Barrios, Wendel, Claudinho, and Artem Dzyuba are having a great season. In fact, all of them could be playing in a much more competitive league next season.
The Russians showed a lot of resilience in the first leg by overcoming a two-goal deficit in the first half. Real Betis was up 2-0 only 18 minutes into the game, but Zenit managed to even the score in three minutes. Unfortunately for them, that wasn’t enough.
Over the last month, Zenit has been a more reliable soccer picks when playing on the road. The Zeniters haven’t lost in their last six games. Plus, they scored in five of those matches. They’re equally comfortable taking the reins or playing on the counterattack. That’s what makes them more dangerous.
No major injuries to report here. Zenit projected lineup: Mikhail Kerzhakov; Vyacheslav Karavayev, Dejan Lovren, Yaroslav Rakitskiy, Douglas Santos, Wilmar Barrios; Malcom, Daler Kuziayev, Wendel, Claudinho; Artem Dzyuba.
Real Betis vs Zenit Head to Head
- Previous Matches: 1
- Real Betis Victories: 1 (3 goals)
- Zenit Victories: 0 (2 goals)
- Draws: 0
As I mentioned before, the first leg ended with a 3-2 victory for Real Betis. Guido Rodriguez, William Jose, and Andres Guardado scored for the visitors. Artem Dzyuba and Malcom did it for the home side. Zenit controlled possession with 63 percent, but Real Betis was more effective.
Zenit has some experience defeating Spanish teams on the road in a UEFA competition. The Zeniters defeated Real Sociedad 3-1 in the 2017-18 UEL Group Stage. They also defeated Valencia 3-2 in the 2015-16 UCL Group Stage.
On the other hand, Real Betis owns a 2-2-1 record against Russian teams.
Real Betis vs Zenit Game Information
- Date: Thursday, February 24
- Time: 12:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio Benito Villamarin, Seville
- Real Betis vs Zenit Live Stream: fuboTV
Real Betis vs Zenit Betting Lines
|Real Betis||-½ -110||-110||3 +105o||1½ -110o
|Zenit St Petersburg||+½ -120||+260||3 -135u||1½ +170o
Real Betis vs Zenit Prediction
My sport betting prediction for the first leg was a draw and the total going over. One week later, I still think we’re talking about two extremely balanced forces. That’s why, once again, I expect the game to end with a draw. That means Real Betis will advance to the Round of 16. I also expect another goal-fest, especially with the home side getting Fekir back. He has scored nine goals in all competitions.
Score Prediction: Real Betis 2, Zenit 2